(BPT) - Aging is a fact of life, so it’s important to understand how our health may be impacted as we get older — and our eyes are no exception. Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people age 50 and older and affects 1 in 5 people over the age of 65. The condition is characterized by changes in the macula, which is the part of the eye required for central vision, allowing us to see objects straight ahead of us.
While there is no cure for the condition, there are steps that you can take to help reduce the risk of progression of AMD, and prioritize your eyes as you get older:
* Lead a healthy lifestyle. Luckily, some common healthy practices help support strong eye health, and help slow progression of AMD. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible. Additionally, adopt a diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and healthy fats. Foods containing these nutrients include: spinach, kale, broccoli, and fatty fish, such as salmon, sea bass, herring and whitefish. Regular exercise can also help to maintain eye health.
* See your eye doctor. You may not think to consult your eye doctor if you aren’t experiencing symptoms that impact your ability to see. However, by scheduling routine eye exams that include dilation, your doctor may be able to identify early symptoms of AMD and determine a clear path forward to help you reduce the risk of progression. If you have been diagnosed with AMD, you should also regularly check your eyes with an Amsler grid tool that helps track incremental vision changes.
* Address symptoms immediately. Early detection is important — as AMD progresses, straight lines may appear distorted, central vision may look dark, blurry or white, or changes in color perception may become noticeable.
If you’ve been diagnosed with AMD:
Consider eye vitamins or supplements. The National Eye Institute recommends taking a specific nutrient formula based on the AREDS2 study, which may help reduce your risk of progression of your moderate to advanced AMD. Talk with your doctor to see if an AREDS 2 formula eye vitamin is right for you.
Bausch + Lomb’s Why Eye Fight campaign aims to generate awareness of AMD and encourage those with the condition to fight for their sight. Visit www.WhyEyeFight.com to learn more about AMD, and to watch Bausch + Lomb’s patient stories and public service announcement. You can also join the online conversation and share your story using #WhyEyeFight on Facebook and Twitter.
AREDS2 is a registered trademark of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).